January-July 1843

The Collected Letters, Volume 16


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 13 July 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430713-TC-JAC-01; CL 16: 272-273


Llandough, 13 july, 1843—

My dear Brother,

Your Letter arrived yesterday, fully as soon as I had expected; the other came the day after mine had gone away. I wish I were able at once to point out what my plan of travel is; but I can only give it you so far as it is yet matured, which indeed is as far as there yet exists knowledge for maturing it. A Steamer, it would appear, sails weekly from Swansea for Liverpool on Wednesday at some hour or other, and touches at Milford Haven, and nowhere else. This you do not commend as a conveyance. On the other hand, Alick Welsh apprises me that there is now no Liverpool Steamer from Abe[r]ystwith,1 and the Bishop gives evidence that there is no coach to that place. I can prefigure nothing till I have got to Carmarthen, and consulted men of knowledge!

The Bishop again invites me very kindly; and I have written today, to him, agreeing to come thither on Monday. The Coach goes thro' Cowbridge about noon; and I fancy it must be some sixty miles. I talked once of staying “two days” with the Bishop; it is not likely that my stay in such an establishment can be long: but it may be a day or so more than the “two,” if things prove inviting there, if I sleep well &c. You had better address your next Letter, “Care of The Lord Bishop of St David's, Carmarthen”: it will find me on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or be sent after me at worst. I will write to you from Carmarthen (or Abergwili, a country place near Carmarthen, which seems to be the precise spot), so soon as I have decided what way to go. Going back to Swansea or Milford is of course always a do-no-better possibility. But I should like well to take a glance at the Mountains; a sight of Snowdon, Plynlimmon &c would do me good, even from the distance;2 and you seem to say there is all requisite convenience for travelling in the North region of Wales. Whatever accurate knowledge of that business you may have will be instructive to me at Carmarthen.

I should like very well to meet you somewhere on the road, anywhere, and carry you about, or be carried about, and if possible bring you back to Annandale with me! At Liverpool, Alick Welsh writes to me his Father is off with two of the girls Helen and another to Glasgow or Helensburgh;3 Cousin Jeannie is there, and the House almost empty. You will see by one of the inclosed Notes that a certain W. E. Forster would be very glad of us at Bradford in Yorkshire: he is a very good young man, a manufacturer come up thither from the Quaker circles of Falmouth: I have of course declined his “Craven” expedition, but promised to think if there were any farther possibility. You now see all my engagements, chances and outlooks, just as they lie before myself. Your Annan Steamer sails on the 19th, 22nd and 28th: the 22nd seems your likeliest day; but it is at 6 in the morning. If I could find somewhere in Wales, at the Menai Bridge,4 or farther down, it would be a merry enough thing!—

On the whole I do very well here, tho' my worthy host's conversation is by no means the most exhilarating part of the phenomenon! He has a smart galloping pony, however; thro' all the forenoon from ten till four he leaves me totally alone; and I have got two or three good dips in nice sea-water: nothing can exceed the kindliness or real innocent worth of the good man. We shall be well content till Monday.5— Jane writes to me from the middle of painters, joiners and loud confusion. Here are two other Letters from Bunsen;6 which, as I had already answered the former, did not now require any answer.

Poor Alick did not get my Letter then! Poor fellow, I think of him daily and hourly, with sadness yet with hope. My Mother's articulate remembrance was precious to me. Give her my love, my hope of soon being there. Blessings on all of you.

Your affectionate /

T. Carlyle